March 7, 2019 / 8:46 PM / 19 days ago

SOFTS-Sugar steadies after hitting two-month lows

 (Updates prices, adds comment, changes dateline to NEW YORK,
previously LONDON)
    NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - Raw sugar futures steadied
after hitting new two-month lows on Thursday on technical
selling and more good weather in Brazil, while cocoa retreated
after the previous session's rally.
    
    SUGAR
    * May raw sugar        dropped 0.02 cent, or 0.1 percent, to
settle at 12.14 cents per lb, after slipping to 12.08 cents, the
lowest since Jan. 7.
    * Dealers said the market remained range bound and
technically driven, with no fresh fundamental drivers.
    * "The market yesterday broke down through an uptrend line
at about 12.34 (cents). This is a bearish development,
projecting a move towards 11.82," said a dealer.
    "On a rebound, 12.60 is resistance."
    * The Indian cabinet has approved incentives worth $471
million to help sugar mills boost ethanol production.
            
    * Ethanol prices are at their highest since last March. High
ethanol prices encourage Brazilian cane mills to produce more of
the biofuel rather than sugar. 
    * However, the lower Brazilian real        has weighed on
sugar as well, said Jack Scoville, a commodities market analyst
at Price Group. 
    * Brazil's real will appreciate in coming months, a Reuters
poll found.              A stronger real can discourage
Brazilian mills from selling dollar-priced sugar.
    * ICE May white sugar         settled down 90 cents, or 0.3
percent, at $337.20 per tonne.
        
    COCOA
    * May New York cocoa        fell $63, or 2.9 percent, to
$2,182 a tonne, after recording its biggest single-day
percentage jump since December in the previous session.
    *  The European Central Bank pushed out the timing of its
first post-crisis rate hike to next year at the earliest on
Thursday and offered banks new rounds of multi-year cash.
             The position raised concerns about potential
weakening demand. 
    * "After ECB and some of the news coming out with a little
weaker data than we expected, the market went down again," said
Peter Mooses, Senior Market Strategist at RJO Futures. 
    * Prices rose on Wednesday after hitting a buy stop at
$2,195 and jumped again after quickly ascending to another buy
stop at $2,220.
    * May London cocoa          settled down 44 pounds, or 2.6
percent, at 1,651 pounds per tonne.
    
    COFFEE
    * May arabica coffee        fell 1.85 cents, or 1.9 percent,
to settle at 96.85 cents per lb.
    * New York May coffee        may test a support at 97.10 
cents per lb, as suggested by its wave pattern and a projection
analysis.             
    * May robusta coffee         fell $27, or 1.8 percent, to
$1,505 per tonne.
    * Coffee farmers in Vietnam are struggling to secure
sufficient water for their trees during the country's dry
season, while trading has started to pick up in Indonesia amid a
mini harvest.             

 (Reporting by Maytaal Angel in London and Jessica Resnick-Ault
in New York
Editing by Marguerita Choy)
  
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